We can probably all agree that nobody really wants to wear face masks right now, but the fact of the matter is they’re quickly becoming an essential accessory in everyday life. However, the standard blue face masks you can get by the bulk load are pretty ugly, and we reckon that has something to do with the lack of uptake from the general public.
It’s clearly a theory many fashion brands have had as well, as we’ve seen a whole wave of face masks appearing from some of our favourite designers. They, of course, not only serve a purpose to protect you and the wider public from contracting that notorious virus, but they also serve as a genuine fashion accessory and one that can easily transform any outfit.
Features of a good face mask
When it comes to buying a face mask, you’ll need to make sure you can get a tight but comfortable fit around your face. You don’t want any gaps at the top or sides, as this will make it completely redundant. Most masks have elasticated sides, able to stretch to virtually any size, or adjustable ear loops, and some even have flexible wire in the main section to mould to your face.
For a face mask to be effective it should also have multiple layers of fabric to act as a filtration system, but also to allow you to breathe normally. You don’t want to be taking your mask off all the time to inhale large amounts of air. You may have seen mention of N95 filters online, but you’re unlikely to get a mask with one of these as they need to be reserved for healthcare workers.
Caring for your face mask
Only put on and remove your face mask using the handles/ear loops rather than holding the main piece that goes over your mouth, and don’t pull it down to your neck when you need to remove it. Your neck can be a stomping ground for germs and bacteria, so putting your face mask here will just transfer a layer of those germs to it.
It’s recommended that you wash your face mask before the first wear and after each wear; some masks are machine washable which makes this task slightly easier, but otherwise, a simple handwash with a tiny amount of washing detergent is fine.
We’ve also seen stories online of people microwaving their masks in an attempt to kill any bacteria. This, and we cannot stress this enough, is NOT a wise thing to do. Do not microwave your face mask. Microwaving = not good!
Price: From $15
American menswear designer Todd Snyder is a real favourite of ours here at DMARGE, most notably for his unique take on everyday essentials. Everything bearing the Todd Snyder label is of a high-quality and has an effortlessly cool nature to it.
His face masks are no different. Made from a cotton jersey fabric with space to insert a filter, Mr Snyder’s masks will perfectly conform to the natural contours of your face. Better still, for every face mask purchased, Todd Snyder will donate one to US charity Good360, which will provide a mask to a NYC hospital in great need. Prices start at US$42.
Price: From $30
Sustainable brand extraordinaire Outerknown has also got in on the cool face mask game, with a 3 pack of rather handsome face masks.
Completely machine washable and reusable, Outerknown’s masks feature elastic ear loops. Made from 100% organic cotton, not only are you doing your bit to protect those around you, but you’re helping the environment too. Price: US$30 for a pack of three.
Price: From $26
Italian brand Shangri-La Heritage is one that takes design inspiration from classic motorcycles, travelling, and rock ‘n’ roll. Materials used in its clothing are tough and rugged, which work perfectly for cool face masks too.
The Fearless Mask uses 100 percent Italian raw denim, mated to an inner layer of antibacterial cotton to produce a breathable yet leak proof mask that’s as stylish as it is functional. The ear loops are made of elastic for a secure, yet comfortable fit. Very rock ‘n’ roll. Price: US$30.
Price: From $38
American fashion brand John Elliott continuously produces incredibly well-made pieces that are some of the most stylish in the business. John is a fan of prints and colours and only the finest materials are used for his products which are all made in the USA.
This 3 pack of tie dye face masks is the perfect embodiment of that, being made from 100 percent cotton and rocking three very different tie dye patterns. Plus, 10 percent of each sale will be given to UCLA Health Research & Education. Price: US$65 for a pack of three.
Price: From $105
Off-White is the fashion label founded by Virgil Abloh, the same man who is Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director. Pieces from Off-White may be a little pricier than some other brands, but such is the world of luxury fashion.
The company’s range of face masks is exceptionally cool, with most masks sporting an arrows motif on the front (which can also be found on various other pieces in the company’s clothing collection). Some masks have the traditional elastic over the ears, but others have top and bottom-mounted straps that stretch around the back of your head for a completely secure and snug fit. Prices start at US$90.
Mostly Heard Rarely Seen
Price: From $75
Mostly Heard Rarely Seen (MHRS) is the brainchild of Thomas Li, a fashion designer from Hong Kong. The brand is incredibly popular with hypebeasts and streetwear-fanatics and as the name suggests, Li is rarely seen in public, instead letting his designs be “mostly heard”.
MHRS’s range of face masks are all made from 100 percent nylon and feature adjustable ear loops for a perfect fit. They have a fantastic range of colours and prints, any of which will elevate your pandemic outfits. Prices start at US$65.
Isaac Sellam Experience
Price: From $125
French designer Isaac Sellam is a big fan of leather and makes heavy use of it within his Isaac Sellam Experience label, which was founded in 2002.
Isaac Sellam Experience’s range of masks have a 100 percent calf leather outer layer and either a 100 percent linen or cotton lining (depending on which style you go for). All masks have elasticated straps that feature a prominent stitching design, something the brand is known for. Prices start at US$125.
Price: From $72
Austrian clothing brand Wolford is certainly more female-orientated, primarily being a producer of ladies’ underwear and stockings. However, that allows Wolford to use its knowledge of soft and comfortable fabrics that are of a long-lasting quality when creating face masks.
The company’s jersey fabric has been channelled into this face mask, which being all-black, makes it very much a unisex product. There is an embossed logo on the front and 100 per cent of net proceeds from sales of this mask will be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts. You’ll look good and feel good with this mask; especially as it’s one of the best face masks available. Price: US$35.
Price: From $30
Henry Mask, a brand created in 2020 specifically because of COVID, creates the most stylish yet comfortable masks that’ll elevate your daily fits. Henry Mask’s have even been sported by the likes of LeBron James, Drake, and Michael B. Jordan. The best thing though? These designer masks are seriously affordable.
The brand operates like a subscription service, and for less than US$30 a month, you get sent two masks every month in a variety of different colours and patterns, with the company donating an additional mask for every mask sold to a healthcare worker or family in need. They’re also entirely made in the USA, washable, and reusable.
Price: From $49
Founded in 2015, Airinum was launched to empower peoples health by creating stylish breathing masks of the highest quality. Designed in Sweden, our favourite is Airinum’s Lite Air Mask.
The Lite Air Mask is a reusable air mask that protects against air pollution, smog, pollen, allergens, and bacteria. Made with a lightweight air mesh material and featuring elastic ear loops, the Lite Air Mask provides great balance between solid protection and lightweight comfort; plus, it’s timeless design makes it perfect for everyday use. Price: US$49.
Price: From $15
Patagonia is dedicated to building the best products that are functional, durable, and have a minimalist style. Founded in 1973, the outdoor apparel brand has become globally renowned for their high-quality products.
Patagonia’s Nano Air face mask is breathable, moisture wicking, and ties around the head to prevent chafing behind the ears. Available in two colour choices, you’ll be able to match this protective mask to your outfits. Price: US$15.
Price: From $5
Rhone is committed to creating clothing that brings together a seamless integration of fit, form, and function. With garments made for everything from the gym to the office available, Rhone is one of the best menswear brands on the market.
Rhone has a few face masks on offer that are all reusable, machine washable, and have adjustable ear loops. Available in a few different colour options and made to be ultra soft and comfortable on your face, Rhone’s masks are stylish yet affordable. Price: US$5.
Price: From $28
Founded in 1998, Lululemon has become renowned globally for their yoga and activewear clothing. The brand constantly produces innovative technical athletic gear that’s functional but also incredibly stylish.
Lululemon has a 3 pack of face masks that have low-profile seams for a streamlined look and comfortable fit, adjustable straps that go around the back of your head and neck to take pressure off your ears, and are completely machine washable. Price: US$28 for a pack of three.
Price: From $11
Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that began back in 1949, but has expanded to a global brand. Now available in over 18 countries, Uniqlo offers ‘current basics’, so clothes that are essential foundations to wardrobes but also have a little twist to make them on trend. Plus, above all they produce well-made clothes that are extremely affordable!
Uniqlo has a 3 pack of face masks that are incredibly comfortable and functional. Made with three layers, the first and third layer are made from light, flexible AIRism mesh for enhanced breathability and protection, whilst the second layer contains a built-in micro-filter that blocks 99% of particles such as bacteria and pollen. Price: US$14.90 for a pack of three.
Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto almost sixty years ago, Canada Goose has grown into one of the world’s leading makers of luxury apparel. Renowned for their top quality outerwear that’s all made in Canada, Canada Goose has also started producing face masks.